Skol! The 2021-22 Minnesota Vikings are gearing up for the return of football to U.S. Bank Stadium. Behind record-breaking running back, Dalvin Cook, and emerging receiving threat, Justin Jefferson, the Vikings are looking to beat the odds and contend for the NFC North title.
Tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium is scheduled to resume after a year off. You won’t find a tailgating experience quite like it, as Vikings fans are known for braving icy winter conditions for their pre-game rituals.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all about how to plan your trip and have some great tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Before Game Day
Minnesota Vikings 2021-22 Home Schedule
The Vikings play these teams at home this season. Games are on Sundays, except where noted.
- Aug 14 (Sat.) – Denver
- Aug 21 (Sat.) – Indianapolis
- Sept 26 – Seattle
- Oct 3 – Cleveland
- Oct 10 – Detroit
- Oct 31 – Dallas
- Nov 21 – Green Bay
- Dec 9 (Thurs.) – Pittsburgh
- Dec 26 – Los Angeles Rams
- Jan 9 – Chicago
Big Games: No NFL division harbors as much intercity hostility as the NFC North — all these teams have been battling each other for decades. The games against Detroit, Green Bay, and Chicago will be, let’s say, lively.
Single-game tickets are available at the Minnesota Vikings’ online ticket office. Season tickets are sold out, but you can get on the waiting list. Get your tickets as soon as you possibly can.
Travel, Accommodations, and Transportation
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are located near the southeast corner of Minnesota. Here’s how to get there and where to stay.
Traveling to Minneapolis
Driving: Interstates 35, 94, and 494 all lead to the Twin Cities. Minnesota State Highway 36 goes right by U.S. Bank Stadium.
Air Travel: Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is a regional hub that takes flights from all major U.S. cities and a few minor ones. There’s no reason to consider any other airport.
Rail: Saint Paul Union Depot serves Amtrak’s Empire Builder line, as well as the Metro Green Line.
Nearby Hotels and Accommodations
U.S. Bank Stadium is in downtown Minneapolis, so you’ve got a lot of options for hotels. Accommodations closest to the playing field include Radisson RED, Canopy by Hilton, Aloft, Moxy, Hyatt Place, Elliot Park Hotel, Best Western Plus, and Courtyard. Check out TripAdvisor’s recommendations for hotels near U.S. Bank Stadium.
Downtown hotels probably aren’t your best options if you’re planning to set up your own tailgate. If that’s the case, check Airbnb for residential accommodations. You’ll have room for your equipment and a kitchen to prepare food.
Getting to U.S. Bank Stadium
U.S. Bank Stadium is well-served by local transit. Metro’s Blue and Green rail routes have stops directly at the stadium, as does Northstar Commuter Rail. Feel encouraged to leave your car at home or at least in a park-and-ride lot.
How to Tailgate at U.S. Bank Stadium
Tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium means rubbing shoulders with some of the NFL’s most fervent but friendly fans. Here are some tips on getting around the parties on game day.
Tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium: Parking
Much like other stadiums in the middle of busy urban areas, parking at U.S. Bank Stadium lots is extremely limited. There are a few lots close to the stadium exclusively reserved for season-long permit holders and they all allow tailgating beginning five hours before kickoff. For what it’s worth, here’s the stadium parking map.
There are, however, over 20,000 spaces in private lots within walking distance. The stadium encourages single-game parkers to reserve an offsite space through ParkWhiz.
As you might expect, there aren’t any accommodations for RVs in U.S. Bank Stadium parking lots and not much room for oversized vehicles in the privately-run lots. There are, however, some private RV campgrounds in the area. Find one that has easy access to public transportation to the game.
Where to Tailgate at U.S. Bank Stadium
Tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium is urban game-day partying at its finest. The stadium lots, while small, are filled with true fans of the purple and gold who have been shouting “SKOL!” for decades.
A typical Vikings tailgate features grilled foods, pickled items, items that resemble implements used for world conquest, and ice-cold beer — even on suffocatingly cold winter days.
Some places to go and people to look for include:
This park a little west of the stadium was the fans’ lifesaver during the COVID pandemic. Every game day the Viking faithful congregate on its four acres. Last year, the Minnesota state legislature approved alcohol sales in the park, a policy that’s rather unique among the professional football stadiums.
Viking World Order Tailgates
The VWO is as close as professional football gets to a religious organization and may be the people responsible for saving Vikings football when the team looked likely to be sold. These super-fans run two tailgating parties on game day: At Lot 53 (near Washington & Portland) and the Purple Lot (near Washington & South 3rd). They offer a rotating menu of food items, many of them wrapped in bacon.
The tailgates are free, but they suggest tipping hosts and cooks.
Tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium: Rules and Tips
The Vikings have some guidelines for tailgating on stadium property, including:
- Charcoal and propane grills allowed, no open flames
- Tents must be smaller than 8’ by 8’
- Quiet, low-emission portable generators are fine
- No kegs or party balls
- No obstruction of traffic aisles
- No overnight parking
For more guidance, check out the Vikings’ tailgating page.
There are cold-weather cities and then there’s Minneapolis. We’re talking an average low of 15°F in December and even lower in January if the Vikes host a playoff game. Tailgating will continue regardless, but dress up in layers.
Nearby Drinks, Food, and Attractions
Minneapolis and St. Paul make for some of the Midwest’s most flourishing big cities, so there are lots of options for food, drink, and activities away from the stadium. Here are a few.
Bars Near U.S. Bank Stadium
Plenty of bars, pubs, and cocktail lounges are an easy walking distance from the stadium. One of the most notable is Town Hall Brewery, located in the Courtyard Marriott hotel. It’s a madhouse on Vikings game days.
For more options, check out Google Maps’ recommendations for bars near the stadium.
Restaurants Near U.S. Bank Stadium
The stadium is just a few blocks from the center of downtown Minneapolis, so you’re at no loss for quality restaurants. Some of the better choices include:
- Dulono’s Pizza
- The Capital Grille
- Manny’s Steakhouse
- Keys Cafe
- Hen House Eatery
- Red Cow
- Rusty Taco
Check out some of TripAdvisor’s recommendations for restaurants near U.S Bank Stadium.
Minneapolis Local Attractions
There’s a lot in Minneapolis-St. Paul to keep you busy while you’re waiting for game day to arrive (or just can’t bring yourself to leave). Some of the top local tourist destinations include:
- Minneapolis Institute of Art
- Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
- Minnehaha Park
- Minnehaha Falls
- Mill City Museum
- Chain of Lakes
- Foshay Tower
- Weisman Art Museum
- Midtown Global Market
For more suggestions, check out TripAdvisor’s recommendations for points of interest in Minneapolis.
If you haven’t experienced tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium, you haven’t seen the extent to which true football fans go for game-day revelry. Climb aboard the Vikings’ pirate ship and get in on the action.